Blackpool FC return to Championship after six year absence

Blackpool FC are celebrating after being promoted to the Championship after a six year spell away.

The Tangerines came from 1 nil down against Lincoln City in the League One play-off final to win 2-1 in front of crowds at Wembley.

Kenny Dougall scored either side of half-time to ensure the Seasiders recovered from conceding the earliest ever goal in the third-tier play-off final when Ollie Turton put through his own net after just 48 seconds.

Neil Critchley's men were worthy of their win and are back in the second tier after a six-year absence, where they also dropped down to League Two.

It comes after a strong end to the regular campaign, finishing third after being in the bottom four following a disappointing start to the season.

Blackpool manager Neil Critchley says winning promotion to the Sky Bet Championship justified his decision to leave Liverpool.

Critchley walked away from his job as the Reds' Under-23s manager in March 2020 and, in his first full season in charge, took the Seasiders back to the second tier for the first time in six years with the win over Lincoln.

Blackpool FC manager Neil Critchley Credit: PA

The 42-year-old was in a secure job at the Anfield club but wanted to test himself and winning promotion has exceeded his expectations.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would end at Wembley with an occasion like this," he said.

"It was a reason why I left Liverpool because I wanted to taste senior football management, the highs and lows, the journey and it has been a special day.

"They say there is no better way than going up than winning at Wembley. I would have swapped with Grant McCann or Darren Ferguson at Hull or Peterborough after 48 seconds but I can assure you when the final whistle went I have never felt emotion like that before and it was an incredible feeling.

"It is a great, great season. I couldn't be prouder."